Wednesday, October 31, 2012

They're Called Proofreaders...Get One

Conservative GOP State Senator Nancy Jacobs is challenging Democratic Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger for the Second Congressional District seat he now holds.

Trying to knock off an incumbent Democratic congressman in deep blue Maryland is no easy feat, especially in a district drawn to reelect Democrats in perpetuity. So, I’m not surprised that Senator Jacobs would enlist one of the party’s bigger names – former Governor Bob Ehrlich, himself a past holder of the same congressional seat for which Jacobs is now running – as she raises the funds needed to challenge an entrenched, five-term member of Congress.

But what surprises me is the fact that no one seems to be proofreading these things before they go out.

In addition to the crude and amateurish tone of the email – I guess “wildly liberal” is the opposite of “severely conservative” – it’s riddled with grammatical errors and typos. It reads almost as if it were written by a community college dropout or something.

Below is the text of the email unedited by me (except for the fact that I removed the hyperlinks included therein). I’m also happy to scan and send you a JPG copy of the original which was emailed to me – though I’m sure there are thousands of them sitting in people’s inboxes right now.

Look, I think Nancy Jacobs is a fine public servant and a decent candidate. But when Republicans in Maryland mess up the small things, they will never, to borrow a word from Governor Ehrlich, “convinces” independents and conservative-leaning Democrats that they can ever get the big things right.


From the Desk of Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.

Dear Fellow Marylanders,

I don't write personal fundraising emails for other members of Maryland's Republicans very often , but the stakes are so high that I'm making this one exception. Elections have consequences and the 2nd Congressional District race to me is personal.

There isn't much time- Election Day is only 6 days away and Nancy really needs our help. You see, with the focus o this election on the White House and the U.S. Senate, I fear many may have forgotten how important it is to keep our conservative majority in the House.

My good friends, State Senator Nancy Jacobs, is engaged in one of the most fiercely competitive House races in the country this year and she urgently needs our help. You see, Nancy is running against a radically Liberal Congressman - Dutch Ruppersberger (D) who was a loyal Democrat under both Nancy Pelosi and Obama.

You know I would only ask you to support solid conservatives who will stand up for the Constitutional conservative values that you and I share - and Nancy Jacobsis one of us!

That's why liberals from across the country are pouring millions of dollars into this race. They believe this could be the one race that tips the scales and re-installs Pelosi as Speaker of the House.

But I'm convinces if we can raise the necessary resources in the final days of this campaign we can push this race into the win column and prevent Pelosi from becoming Speaker again.

Nancy urgently needs the help of conservatives like you and me across the nation to raise the resources to stay on the airwaves for the final days. So will you make an emergency contribution of $25, $50, $100, $250 or more to Nancy's campaign today?

The bottom line is that we need Nancy serving in the U.S. House to protect our cherished liberties and defend our values from the radical left. This is why I'm urgently asking you to support Nancy's campaign today with a donation of $25, $50, $100, $250 or whatever you can afford.


Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.

P.S. I'm proud to stand with Nancy Jacobs as she faces off with a wildly liberal Pelosi foot soldier. It's critical that Republicans recapture this seat, because we urgently need Nancyfighting with me for our shared values. Thanks- Bob

Monday, October 15, 2012

The MVA Mystery Revisited

Earlier this month I had a piece in the Frederick News Post describing my rather complex experience renewing my license at the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) express office in Columbia.

While the experience was a model of efficiency as far as wait time and overall excellence of service were concerned, I was put off by the fact that the clerk brought my voter registration information up on a screen and asked me if I wanted to switch my party affiliation.

I informally sampled my friends on Facebook, and found that those who were registered Republican were more likely to report having the same experience than Democrats.

Anyway, Stuart Harvey, Director of the Frederick County Board of Elections, was kind enough to drop me a note responding to my article. In his message to me, he stated:

“I passed it on to the State Board of Elections, who will be discussing the behavior you experienced with their MVA contact. There is now a statewide online voter registration system that integrates with the MVA – but that question about “changing party affiliation” is not part of any training MVA staff were given in using the system, as I understand it.”

He also promised to let me know what the Maryland State Board of Elections has to say about this situation. I will report back on what comes of this here.

In the meantime, if you have had experiences similar to mine at the MVA regarding changing your voter registration, please share them with me. I may report them here but absolutely won’t do so without permission.

These are the kinds of creeping encroachments of authority that can occur when an entrenched majority party holds power permanently. Only by publicizing such incidents can we hope to force reform.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

The GOP Is Changing Chairmen in Baltimore County

So, over the weekend I got the word from various people that Baltimore County GOP Chairman Steve Kolbe had announced his resignation as chairman of the Baltimore County Republican Central Committee, throwing his support to Vice Chairman Al Mendelsohn as his successor.

To get to the bottom of this, I sent a Facebook message to Kolbe (he opened the message but did not respond) and Mendelsohn (he did). In the meantime, someone sent me a copy of Kolbe’s valedictory message to Central Committee members, which I reproduced, unedited, below (I omitted Kolbe's contact information.)

Kolbe isn’t resigning. Rather, he is ineligible to seek another term because he is not presently a member of the Central Committee. Whereas the chairmanship of the Baltimore County Central Committee was previously determined by a countywide vote during the GOP primary in non-presidential election years, the law was changed to make the position elected by, and from, the Central Committee members themselves. Further, the term of the chairman was shortened from four years to two, meaning that – under the new law – it will be time for the Central Committee to elect its new chairman in November.

I plan to focus on the race to succeed Kolbe – by all accounts, an effective and diligent chairman – in a future blog entry. There are a lot of able candidates among present Central Committee members – Al Mendelsohn among them. At the moment it seems to be his to lose.

Still, I would like to see more women ascend to leadership roles in the MDGOP. So I hope at least one viable female candidate will emerge as a possible future chairman.

And, yes, Hillary Foster Pennington, I’m talking about you.


Dear BCRCC Team:

We have accomplished so much together over the past year and a half! During this term, we have grown the movement, increasing not just our credibility and rightful prominence within the Republican Party, but we increased our party's strength in our jurisdiction, while our opponents withered away. We have done our part to evangelize the Republican brand in our community while holding Democrats accountable for their actions, we have helped our candidates succeed, we have exerted real influence on important issues throughout the state, we have identified our culture of who we truly are and who we truly should be, and we have done so, so much more. Most importantly, we have reformed our committee; we now have the right to self-determine our leaders, we have an empowered committee structure, and we truly are a united, vibrant, respected, and active force for good in the community.

We still have much work to do before this election is over, but it's time to start shifting some attention to our upcoming meeting. One of the most important things we will do is ensure a solid foundation for our future by nominating the candidates for a new officer corps that will serve for the next two years.

You have been an inspiration and have given me memories I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Your wisdom when unleashed, is reliably effective and routinely right. One of the most important times we exerted this wisdom was in the activities subsequent to the passage of SB85. Our implementation of this change in the law did three things: first, it made the position of Chairman, as it exists at this moment, defunct; second, it called for an election to be held once every two years; and, third, it called for the officer corps to be elected from within the membership of the BCRCC once every two years, except for the Treasurer who is elected every two years with the rest of the officer corps but does not need to be a BCRCC member.

I stood with you in unanimity, supporting this measure, eyes open in the knowledge that, as I ceased to be a member when I took this office of Chairman, these changes were making me ineligible to run for another term this November. I stood with you on those changes because I agree. It's the right way to do it!

As you move forward in the next chapter of this journey together, I am confident that our party has a solid foundation and the tools to succeed. Please take confidence in the knowledge that I have been working diligently to ensure seamless continuity. The assets we built will be transferred, and this organization will be set up to continue onward and upward. 
Two things to know:

A leader never leaves a vacuum

Outstanding organizations have a solid succession plan. That's why volunteer organizations like ours frequently regard a vice-chair or vice-president as the individual(s) who are in training to take over the leadership position one day.

Throughout all the things we have done over the past year, I want you to know that Al Mendelsohn and I have been good friends and excellent partners in success. Where I was weak, Al was strong. Al was always there when I needed help. Even if he was not the face or the voice, he and I worked side by side on nearly everything, and his mark is, in one way or another, on nearly everything we have done. In fact over the past six months since the passage of our reforms, I have been working closely with Al to ensure he has all the tools he feels he needs to continue on as Chairman, and that you have the ability to choose this path, should it be your wish to do so.

In a conversation between Al and I yesterday, we talked about ideas for the future. What I heard was exciting and left me with a feeling of confidence. Also, Al's recent diagnosis does not change my feelings that he is an outstanding choice for a successor; since his procedure, he has reassured me that he is well, getting better every day, and just as enthusiastic as ever about the Republican Party.

Our assets have been cared for

Our stock in trade is our information and our ideas. As you know, we built an infrastructure from the ground up. The databases and files in my possession are the intellectual property of the BCRCC. They will be transferred over to the succeeding leadership, and I will remain involved so long as is necessary to affect a full and complete transfer of all knowledge. I hope that which we built during our time together can be further improved upon in the future, and that it will serve to smooth the transition between next generations of leaders, and preserve the hard work of generations past, for decades to come.

As we have one gathering left before the current term comes to a close, this is a bittersweet moment. This time has been one of the most personally enriching experiences of my entire life. I have learned so much, and you have changed me into a better person... but words will never be able to do justice to express how you have indeed transformed me. Thank you so much for giving me this honor and this opportunity. I am forever in your gratitude.

And now, while I shall clear the way for new generations of leaders to make their mark upon this great party in this great county, I look forward to once again becoming a citizen activist, to continuing my love of volunteerism for the party and its people, as this movement continues to turn the tide and eventually, one day, vanquishes the liberal progressive agenda and turns this county into a citadel of Republican strength in Maryland!

Sincerely Yours,
Stephen V. Kolbe